Security Council should address the actions of the Lord's Resistance Army, says Norway
- The actions of the Lord's Resistance Army poses a threat to regional peace and stability and should be addressed by the Security Council, says Ambassador Johan Løvald in the open debate on "Peace, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region" on 27 January
Norway supports the encouraging developments in several countries of the Great Lakes Region, including the positive election process in Burundi in addition to the on-going transition process in the DRC. Norway acknowledges the importance of a continued active UN engagement as well as the African commitment to peacekeeping and mediation in the Great Lakes Region. Norway strongly supports regional initiatives to enhance stability in the Great Lakes Region, including the Second Great Lakes Summit and the adoption of a pact on peace and security as well as the Tripartite Plus One Commission (Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda).
The recent history of the Great Lakes Region has very clearly shown that national borders are porous and loyalties transcend state frontiers. As a consequence, the security of one country cannot be seen in isolation. It is part of the larger regional picture. Internal war or conflict in one country produces a spill over effect in other countries in the region. This is particularly visible in terms of movement of refugees, weapons and rebel groups. The recent killing of eight MONUC peacekeepers allegedly by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) clearly illustrates this regional security dimension. A positive outcome of the transitional process in the DRC is essential for the stability of the entire region. The Government of Norway is therefore very concerned about the negative impact of the LRA activities in the DRC. The conflict between the Government of Uganda and the LRA not only has grave consequences for the Ugandan civilians living in camps in appalling conditions. It also affects the security of civilians in the whole region. In addition, the conflict affects the security and operational space of the UN Peace Keeping Missions of MONUC (DRC) and UNMIS (Sudan). The International Criminal Court (ICC) has taken an important step by issuing its first arrest warrants for five Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commanders. Norway will continue to support the ICC in its efforts to bring an end to impunity for grave human rights violators. The Government of Norway acknowledges the fact that the responsibility to protect all Ugandan citizens lies with the Government of Uganda. However, it is also Norway’s view that LRA represents a threat to regional peace and security. Norway therefore urges the Security Council to address at the earliest possible date the grave impact of the actions of the LRA.
Thank you, Mr President